Canva: A How to Guide to Making Quality Images

You have had a look around but you cannot quite find the image that you are looking for. You want to make an image for Facebook, or you want to make a cover photo for your business’s twitter account. This image needs to be made this quickly and with as little fuss as possible! Fear not, that’s what is for.

About Canva

The Canva adventure began back in 2007. It was set up by Melanie Perkins who was teaching programs like Photoshop in universities at the time. She thought that the programs were overly difficult to learn and took too much time. This spurred her on to go into business herself. After a few transformations and direction changes, Canva was born. If you want to know more about the story check out this interview with Melanie below.

How to Set up a Canva Account

It is super simple to set up, I signed up using my Facebook account. You can also sign up using your email address and a password. At present is only available on desktop and for iPhone, fingers crossed an Android supported Canva will be quick on its heels.

Image Sizes

The first option on Canva is what size canvas you want to use. Now don’t panic, they have handy templates, for various social media platforms and even ad sizes. There is also an option to do custom sizes once you are comfortable with it. Why not have a look at Charlene’s blog on images for 2016 if you want to learn more?

Using Your Own or Imported Images

Once you have selected your canvas, you can upload your own images by dragging and dropping images files. You can also use images from these sites as they are copyright free and you do not need to credit anyone when using them. It is simple to select an image and apply different filters to it. The image below was in colour but I wanted it in black and white. I then superimposed a heart on it, made it orange and the size that I wanted. Then I copied it. I also played around with the transparency for each heart. Finally, the transparent BlueChief logo was put up in the corner.

It takes a little bit of getting used to but once you get into it, the process can be very quick and the results are professional. It is easy to set different colours for backgrounds, use different fonts, use frames, shapes, illustrations and have a lot of fun!

Just a wee warning: There are some elements that cost $1 apiece, but they are clearly denoted. Canva warns you if you accidentally use one. It warns you at the end of the editing process when you are downloading your image, they double check, if you really want to pay $1 for that picture of a snowflake.

If you want to try a different program you can also try PicMonkey which is similar to Canva or Stencil which is a plug-in for Google Chrome that allows you to put text onto images.

Canva Pro tip: Don’t forget to upload your logo with a transparent background into the Uploads. Then you can just pop in on any image that you make.

All of the images in this blog post were made using Canva. Happy image making!